How do you structure and motivate your team to be more collaborative?

In this article, we will be discussing how you can structure and motivate your team to be more effective. We shall also be looking at the various benefits of team collaboration for an organization. In addition, we shall also listing out the various obstacles for online teamwork and the different tools teams can use to overcome these barriers.

How do you structure and motivate your team to be more collaborative?

You can structure and motivate your team to be more collaborative by using the strategies explained in this section. Since collaboration  has been known to have several great benefits for organizations like increased productivity and innovative products and designs, leaders are trying to implement policies and strategies that will promote collaboration.

Leading from the top

Leaders need to demonstrate collaboration in their daily tasks if they expect team members to collaborate together effectively. This means being open and honest while communicating, being transparent about challenges and problems and also keeping your promises. Team members can also learn the right way to collaborate by modeling the leaders.

Setting clear goals for the team

Goals allow the team members to work with a purpose. This guides their work process and can also help them track their progress in the project. When setting goals for the team, the leaders should make sure they are smart goals. This means they are specific, realistic and can be easily measured or gauged.

Assigning appropriate roles

Having individual roles in the project helps team members show more accountability and responsibility. Team leaders should also help the individuals understand the roles clearly so that there are no misunderstandings or conflicts. When they are assigned roles, team members should also be provided with the right resources or skill sets.

Collaborating in an organized manner

The collaboration process itself should be well-organized in order for it to progress smoothly. When there is better planning and organization, it allows few conflicts and disruptions in the collaboration process. Team leaders and managers should set the right collaboration goals and carefully outline the process, determining the start and end points in a structured manner.

Using the right collaboration tools

When the team members are not provided with the right resources, they won’t be motivated to collaborate. It can also lead to bad collaboration or even collaboration overload. Providing the right collaboration tools can help team members practice effective collaboration. These tools can lead to better work productivity and efficiency in the organization.

Benefits of team collaboration

Team collaboration can have several benefits for both the organization and the employees themselves. It allows the work to be completed at a faster and more efficient rate, thus saving time and money for the company. Through collaborative practices, employees can work closely together and achieve deadlines at a faster rate.

Collaboration also allows better access to information in the organization. This helps create a flatter structure, promoting cross-functional and inter-level communication. It can also greatly help remote teams function in a smoother manner, despite being placed in various geographical locations.

Through collaboration tools, organizations can also improve the communication between employees and their leaders. Meetings can be conducted without the cost of renting space. Instant messages can also be sent across levels and departmental barriers. Thus, silos in the organization are knocked down.

When there are effective collaborative practices in place in an organization, employees share more ideas and suggestions. They also give more honest feedback and opinions, which can greatly help organizations employ best practices. This in turn helps in diversifying the workplace and creating new products and designs for the consumer base.

Obstacles for online teamwork

Since many organizations are switching to remote work permanently, most of the work collaboration between teams is being conducted online. However, there can be many barriers to effective online teamwork. Some of these barriers are discussed below:

Breakdowns in the communications

Since employees are not physically around each other, there can be breakdowns in the communication between each other. This can happen intentionally or by accident. Breakdowns in communication often happen in remote teams that have a lot of diversity. Since team members do not easily understand how to deal with diversity, they simply do not communicate.

Ineffective digital technology

Digital collaboration tools are being increasingly used to communicate with each other. However, when the right tools are not used in the organization, it can become an obstacle for communication. This can also happen when too many tools are implemented in the organization, leading to collaboration overloads.

Unequal participation

When teams are using online communication, there is a chance that everyone might not participate with the same intensity. This happens when there is competitiveness between the team members and thus only some voices get heard. It can also happen when employees don’t feel valued and hence intentionally reduce their participation in the collaboration.

Forgetting the organization’s vision

Since employees are not working physically together, they can lose sight of the organizational values and long-term vision. When employees are not focusing on the vision, they don’t always align their tasks to it and thus quality fails. This can lead to many other issues such as missing deadlines, incomplete work and customer dissatisfaction.

Tools for online teamwork

In order to promote the right kind of teamwork in organizations, various tools can be used. Digital collaboration tools help in communication and collaboration among many other things. Some of the tools that organizations can use are:

Applications for chatting and video-conferencing

These applications allow team members to send instant messages to each other. They can also be used to make voice calls as well as video calls. Many organizations use these apps to conduct virtual meetings, which might otherwise cost a lot of money and time for the company.

Software for sharing files and documents

Since team members may need to share information with each other in the forms of files and documents, this software comes in handy for organizations. Integrating them with cloud technology can make the information easily accessible and retrievable for employees from various levels.

Project management systems

Project management systems or software allow teams to manage project both in real-time and asynchronously. This makes the workspace easily accessible to team members even they though may be present in different geographical locations. It also helps in tracking the progress of projects allowing everyone to be on the same page.


In this article, we have discussed how you can structure and motivate your team to be more effective. We have also seen the various benefits of team collaboration for an organization. In addition, we have also listed out the various obstacles for online teamwork and the different tools teams can use to overcome these barriers.

Frequently asked questions: (How do you structure and motivate your team to be more collaborative?)

What motivates you to collaborate with others?

Collaboration can have many motivational factors and can serve different purposes. It can be within organizations when teams work closely together. It can also be a business collaboration between businesses of varying scales. Additionally, it can also refer to collaborations between artists in order to entertain people better.

Collaboration brings many benefits, and these benefits motivate people to collaborate further. These benefits are: 

Collaboration leads to a larger network and audience

Collaboration between organizations or businesses leads to a larger network. In this manner, they can target a wide range of consumers and customers. Research studies have also shown that consumers love when brands collaborate together. Thus, collaboration allows the consumer base of the brand to increase and can also help in targeting newer populations.

It can create a bigger potential

Due to collaboration, the potential of the organizations or businesses involved can greatly increase. When organizations share resources, skill sets and knowledge, they become stronger in their footholds. Collaboration can also allow organizations to set larger goals and focus on much bigger causes. This benefits not only organizations but also communities.

Collaboration can bring more stability

Collaboration brings stability to organizations and businesses. Since the resources are now pooled together, it can strengthen the financial position of all the parties involved. It does not only stabilize the financial situation but also provides more resources and confidence to expand.

How do you motivate your employees?

Employees need to be motivated if organizations need them to work more efficiently and show better commitment. There are many ways to motivate employees and these can be used in accordance with the goals involved, the personality of the persons and the organizational values. Some of the ways to motivate employees are explained here:

Acknowledging accomplishments

Employees are not only motivated by their salaries. They need to be recognized for their efforts and rewarded for those. This provides the benefit of making the employees aware of effective actions and also pushing them to do more. This helps in creating a positive and supportive environment by boosting employee morale.

Giving autonomy

Autonomy not only encourages employees to be more responsible in their tasks, but also increases employee well-being. While giving autonomy, team leaders should carefully consider the level they are willing to give. The autonomy can be anything from deciding where to work and what time to work. It also can be about the order of tasks or pace of work.

Using group decision-making

Collaborative decision-making is becoming highly common in organizations. This is more popular in organizations which have flatter structures. When employees are involved in the decision-making process, they show more engagement and participation in the work process. They also show more ownership and responsibility of the decision.

Encouraging mutual trust and respect

Healthy relationships between employees are crucial for an organization. Many teams also ensure that they bond outside of work so that they get to know each other personally. Healthy relationships at work are built on trust and respect. This can happen only when the leaders demonstrate effectively and also when communication is open and honest.

Track performance appropriately

Since employee performance is reviewed in almost all organizations, using this as a means to motivate them can be highly beneficial. However, most employees find performance reviews stressful and counter-productive to their motivation levels. Thus, organizations need to rethink their performance review protocols and employ more individualized processes.

If you like this article, please post your comments or questions in the space below.


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!